OCG Staff

0

Taryn Palumbo

Executive Director

Taryn Palumbo serves as the Executive Director of Orange County Grantmakers, a regional association of philanthropic funders in Orange County. As Executive Director, Taryn provides strategic leadership, oversees and executes programming, communication, member services and community engagement, and supports the operations of the organization. Taryn joined OCG as a part-time Executive Administrator in January 2017 and was promoted to Executive Director in February 2018.

Prior to joining OCG, Taryn held roles in public policy, government affairs, education, small business engagement and community relations. She has also served as a consultant with United Way Orange County, helping to launch UpSkill OC, a middle skills job initiative and with The Olin Group, supporting a variety of nonprofit clients.

Before moving back home to Orange County, Taryn spent four years with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, first as their Manager of Public Policy and later as their Director of Strategic Partnerships. In this role she created, grew and implemented UniteSF, an education/workforce development initiative, and co-chaired San Francisco’s Small Business Week Committee.

Taryn earned her Juris Doctorate from Chapman University School of Law and passed the CA Bar in 2011. She earned her B.A. from Loyola Marymount University. Taryn currently serves on the Executive Board of the OC Forum and is the proud mother of 3.5 year old boy and 1 year old girl.

Board of Directors

Cathleen-Otero

Cathleen Otero

Chair

Orange County Community Foundation
Tiffany Alva

Tiffany Alva

Vice Chair

First 5 Orange County
Joanna Kong

Joanna Kong

Membership Chair

Sun Family Foundation
Frame 3

Nithin Jilla

Program Chair

Sun Family Foundation
Christine

Christine Fontana

Summit Co-Chair

Edwards Lifesciences
Ben Drutman

Ben Drutman

At-Large Member

Simon Scholars
John Guastaferro

John Guastaferro

At-Large Member

Anaheim Community Foundation
Nate Brown

Nate Brown

At-Large Member - Partner Groups

PIMCO Foundation
Jason Lacsamana Photo 2020

Jason Lacsamana

Past Chair

St. Joseph Community
Partnership Fund
dummy-person-image

OPEN

How do we build a compassionate and inclusive America in an age of distrust? WAJAHAT ALI knows from personal experience that when we come together to be the superheroes of our own stories, we can create honest social change. The beloved TED speaker has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic about our urgent issues—immigration, politics, parenthood—with boldness, hope, and humor. His memoir Go Back to Where You Came From, one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year, follows his life as a Muslim Pakistani-American on a surprising, emotional, and challenging quest for the good life. Iconic journalist Katie Couric says that “we are all so fortunate to be on the receiving end of his intellect, his humanity, and his heart.”

Wajahat Ali

“With wit and charm, Ali delivers a masterful meditation on growing up brown in America...he gives us a clear-eyed affirmation of the country America could be.” — Mara Gay, New York Times

Mara Gay, New York Times

Wajahat Ali uses his platform to fight tirelessly for the social change we need in our country—and he isn’t afraid to get personal while doing it. The Daily Beast columnist and former New York Times writer, TED speaker, award-winning playwright, and Peabody-nominated producer of the documentary series The Secret Life of Muslims offers us his experiences of triumph over hardship as a beacon of hope and resilience in the face of life’s impossible situations. From his experiences of Islamophobia growing up as a Muslim Pakistani-American to his two-year-old daughter’s liver cancer diagnosis, Wajahat is living proof that when we share our authentic stories, we build the America we wish to live in.”

In his memoir Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American, Wajahat teaches us how to create our own superhero origin story, invest in hope for the future of America, and enact real social change. The book was called “biting and funny and full of heart” by NPR. Representative Ilhan Omar called Wajahat’s work “hilarious” and “deeply moving”, and legendary writer Dave Eggers said it was the book he’d “been hoping Wajahat Ali would write for ten years—hilarious, stylistically fearless, deeply humane.”

Wajahat is also the author of The Domestic Crusaders—the first major play about Muslim-Americans in a post-9/11 world. He was the lead researcher and author for the Center for American Progress’s seminal report “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” and served as a national correspondent for Al Jazeera America, where he told stories about communities and individuals often marginalized or under-reported in mainstream media.

As Creative Director of Affinis Wajahat Labs, he worked to create social entrepreneurship initiatives to support and uplift marginalized communities. He also worked with the US State Department to design and implement the “Generation Change” leadership program to empower young social entrepreneurs. Wajahat initiated chapters in eight countries, including Pakistan and Singapore. For his work, he was honored as a “Generation Change Leader” by Sec. of State Clinton and recognized as an “Emerging Muslim American Artist” by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. 

He has given keynote speeches around the world such as TED, The Aspen Ideas Festival, Google, the United Nations, and The New Yorker Festival. His writing appears regularly in the New York TimesThe Atlantic, the Washington Post, and The Guardian. He’s a Senior Fellow at The Western States Center and Auburn Seminary and co-host of Al Jazeera’s The Stream.